I came here because the the world is always changing. Sometimes I am too.
Yet and still…
I believe human kindness is a way of putting our arms around the world with compassion in raw un-edited truth that changes the way we write poetry. Kindness, I believe is a moral lifestyle. I’m just trying to do my part in making the world a better place.
I believe kindness-poetry can be felt- chirping off the page. Even now, there’s this gentle nudge that lets’ me know, I’m not alone. That’s kindness.
I believe in kind words that can grab you from the edge of defeat, place you in the center of everything and watch your spirit rise. In the words of Alice Walker, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
That’s kindness too.
I believe kind-poetry in this kind-way lift voices out of ghost towns, and ghettos, and prisons- and makes our human experience- transform as to what it has been into visions of hope, and growth and strengthen our mere existence from invisible, margins of living and dying but we all could use kindness as a way of loving ourselves and each other. We could all use human kindness to rebuild extraordinary lives from what has been,
I so desperately wanted to get back to third grade. I did everything in my little -big girl power to show Mr. Luna. I handed in my math homework on time. This time without any ketchup, mustard or hot sauce stains. Hey no judgement please! I even washed the dishes.
However, the only way to do homework was over a bowl of tomato soup and sometimes if I’m lucky spicy grilled cheese. Of course I added the hot sauce. My big-haired sister complained. “Mama Krissy’s using all the hot sauce again.” To that mama would answer, “I better have enough for my spicy fried chicken!” I quickly put away mama’s special hot sauce and finished multiplying by two’s.
Yes homework was a breeze but reading to kids my own age was terrifying. Somehow I got up in front of the whole class everyday, like I knew what I was doing.
Mr. Luna finally caved-in about half-way through the second grading period and welcomed me back to class.
O’h was I over the moon and back again. So much so, I volunteered to staple all the Holiday Papers for Christmas break. Mr. Luna gave out a serious warning “Krissy with so many papers to staple, be extremely careful.”
There I was watching the clock, could 2:45 pm go any faster? Never mind that! I had four stacks of paper to staple and deliver to every student by 3:05 pm. Christopher Jones shouted “there’s no way she’s gonna finish in time!
Thoughts started jumping in and out my head o’ he’s so-o-o- right. What was I thinking? That’s the thing, I wasn’t thinking. I had to be miss goody two-shoe. Staple everybody ‘s paper and now I’m in deep water.
I turned my head for a split second, to say something back to Christopher Jones. Before I could muster up a smart remark. I heard a very loud crunch. I look down. I didn’t start freaking out right away. Its just when the paper and my thumb started bleeding.
Mr. Luna had no words, just pointed me toward the door. I knew I’d blew it. There I was sitting in the nurse’s office. Mrs. Polk, the nurse, had glasses that hung off the edge of her pointy nose. She said, “what is it this time? I stapled my thumb. Mrs. Polk snickered “Krissy, I’m not even a bit surprised, you’ll live.” And it turns out, staples go straight through thumbs if your not careful.
P.S. If you’d stayed all the way till the end, from my heart to yours, thank you. And if you’d like to know what happens next stay tune,
I’ll be back with more stories from my real life third grade childhood.
There I was walking back into the third grade with my head held high. I’d made up in my mind. I was going to plead my case with Mr. Luna to let me back into 3rd grade. I didn’t quite have a plan. Yet I was determine put a zip lock on my lips, throw away the key- so help me God.
Okay not really but I’d said my prayers. Hey! I’m working on it. Anyhow, with all kinds of feelings like Chimpanzees swinging through corridors and frogs leaping over my head. Even my baby rabbit, Honey joined in. Even Honey didn’t believe. I’d last one whole day, keeping my- my-mouth shut.
The minute I made it back to Mr. Luna’s class the bell rang to go home. I walked toward Mr. Luna’s desk. I waited until he’d finished passing out our math homework assignment.
Me: Mr Luna, u-u-m-m-m-m-m, I wanted to say, I’m sorry for being a motor mouth in class. I promised God and Honey, you know my sweet baby rabbit. That if you’d let me stay in 3rd grade. You’ll see I’ve changed.
Mr. Luna: Really in only 24 hrs? Well isn’t that Peter and all 12 disciples walking on the water.
Me: I know I’m no saint, or anything like that.
Mr. Luna: Besides I hear good things from Mrs. Davis. You did a fine job reading to her class. So much so. I’ve decided to let you stay.
Stay! Like forever, forever, like never-ever come back until your old and grey and can’t fit into 3rd grade anymore!
Mr. Luna: By the way I’ve signed you up for the 3rd grade reading club, and the first book is on me. “How To Eat Fried Worms” by Thomas Rockwell
He shoved the book into my hands and said “don’t forget your math homework. See you tomorrow after school.”
After school! I barely made school, now I have to be there after the fire-siren. Which says to me it’s not a fire. Schools out and me too.
Oh’ no! No, no, no!
Mr. Luna yells, down the hall. “Don’t worry Krissy, I’ve already called your mom and told her everything!
That’s just great. Great, great, great! Now I’m death warmed- over for sure and soon to be cold again.
your kindness sister Krissy (true stories from my childhood)
P.S. If that’s okay with you, I’ll be back with the rest of my stories from 3rd grade (hopefully you’ll laugh as much as I have- just remembering the stupidest, weirdest things that happened to me in 3rd grade)
(childhood photo of me- the kindness sister Krissy)
The day that third grade change everything. And I do mean everything. I was a fairly average student. I had plenty of A’s and B’s to prove it but I never stop talking. Now that’s not to say, I talked with myself, because I probably would have. If I didn’t have Kwanna Brown, who always managed to sit next to me and sticky fingers Christopher Jones sat across the table.
Class started out like any other day passing notes, but somehow I was caught in mid pass. Mama said God’s was watching. In my case I think, God gave Mama and Mr. Luna eyes in the back of their head.
Mr Luna: You do know with grades like yours Krissy you could be skipped but you don’t know how to let the teacher- teach do you? So today is your lucky day!
Oh boy’ I’d passed one too many notes. Cracked too many stories about Honey my baby rabbit. Before I knew it, I was being escorted out of class down the long stretched hallway. I’d never even knew existed! Pass the Principal’s office -glad not to go in there.
Two doors down, plastered in blue and red letters that read, “You Are Always Welcome.” As a woman named Mrs. Davis, leaned toward me with shinny black shoes and red hair.
Mrs. Davis said “Hello Krissy, we are please to have you.”
Mr. Luna: Krissy all you have to do today is read to these wonderful students and try not to stare. Or fidget with your sleeves. I know that’s what you do when you are nervous. Just think of it as an early homework. Also don’t forget to stop bye 3rd grade after school.
I can’t believe it! My nightmare had come true. Out of all the things that could happened for passing notes in class. I’d get kicked out of 3rd grade. Now my only job was to read. Oh’ I’m dead, dead, dead, dead and Mama’s gonna kill me.
I’d looked around the room. I will never forget that eerie feeling. Mama was right. “What you do in the dark comes out in the light.” The class started coming towards me. I was being ambush and this was not your typical war zone. It was just kids, with a few less working parts.
Some kids in wheel chairs. Some kids with other kinds of sensitivities. I’m only eight, I didn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t know if I should sit or stand. Which at one point, I do believe, I was dead or frozen in place. Everything but my legs -they wouldn’t stop shaking.
Then I ran pick up the first book I saw. Which happen to be one of my first loves when it came to reading. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, these stories saved my life that day. I read and read. Until that strange, weird feeling, Oh’ my Lord, what do I do now-stopped. My legs seemed to be running a marathon only we weren’t going anywhere.
Eventually my leg spasms seemed to fly right out the window. Pass the Principals’ Office. Don’t want to ever go in there.
Before I knew it Mrs. Davis was handing me double stuff Oreo cookies and a yellow napkin. I smiled and said thank you.
Mrs. Davis: I want to thank you for coming and reading to the class today. You truly are a wonderful reader. Keep up the good work. In fact! I’m going to ask Mr. Luna if you can come back tomorrow and be our reader until the end of the school year.
My eyes grew wider. I couldn’t respond my mouth was full of ooey-gooey-creamy goodness. I wanted to say but-but, but, that never happened. So I walked back down the hall pass the Principal’s Office, glad I didn’t have to go in there. Turned the corner back to third grade.
(To be continued, real stories from my childhood)
If you want to know what happened next, hit me up in the comments with the “words more please” and if you made it this far, thank you, from my soul to your soul
Through the years, I’d stumbled lightly over the term “growing up” Looking over the silliest complexities in growing. I can remember the tender age of eight. The best thing ever, since slice bread. I brought to my class, on Show and Tell, a brand new rabbit. I was so happy, I could have slapped myself. (okay I probably did)
When Mr. Luna said “good morning class.” My hand shot up like a rocket in the air. My bunny-rabbit was neatly tuck away in a cage, with a warm grey cotton top. I was’ leaping in my chair like it was a trampoline. And I was trying out for the star role on the Olympics.
Mr.Luna : who would like to be first?
Me: o-o-h, me, please, me, me.
Mr.Luna: Alright Krissy you can go first.
I slowly stood up, beads of sweat and joy building upon my forehead. I was prepared for it. I took out Kwanana’ brown’s birthday napkin. I’d saved in my desk for times like these. Usually in high pressured moments, I’m one to sweat heavily under the armpits. I guess all the extra toilet paper and baby powder that morning, the sweat had nowhere else to go.
So there I was lifting the soft grey cotton top. My fluffy grey and white rabbit with its brown button nose. I could hear the class o-ohs’ and aw’s. I carefully lifted my rabbit, that I’d named Honey’ by 8:00 am that morning.
Tasting nothing less, than sweet victory. I’d steal the crown, The Class’ Favorite Show-And Tell, starring Honey!
I smiled, like I’d won the lottery on the 6:00 o’clock news. I presented myself, hi” everybody, my name is Krissy. This is my beautiful baby rabbit Honey. I’ve always wanted a pet. Mom always said no. Then she found out that the mail-lady had gifted me an abandoned rabbit almost three years old.
Mom said the rabbit could stay as long as I kept up with: cleaning it, feeding it, washing it and all my other chores. I didn’t care that Honey was a lot of work. I truly wanted Honey.
In the middle of my big speech Christopher Jones said “Whoppi-doo,doo. Honey can’t do tricks, can she? I shook my head, “not at the moment.” So what’s so special about Honey?
I had to think fast. That’s when it hit me, all the church services I’ve attended. All the songs I’d listened to. Watching the saints’ and those who came close including me.
“Yes,” I replied, Christopher Jones. You believe in God don’t you? Before he’d muster up an answer. I revved back in little girl preacher mode, swallowed a lump of spit and said,
“Well this is one of God’s gentle creatures.” By this time with my church finger swinging in the air. “You know, they don’t bite. In fact, its probably proven, that bunnies, can alleviate stress. I know it does for me.”
“Honey brings me joy when I’m sad.
Honey has taught me things like rabbits don’t eat carrots.
Honey is kind and sweeter than sugar to me.
Honey has saved my life, more that I can count,
probably even my childhood.”
That being my last word, I wiped my face. Somehow drenched in a bucket of water and took my seat. The class cheered and applauded.
your kindness sister Krissy (true stories from my childhood)
I am Eva -former refugee, doctor and a writer. My parents were Holocaust survivors, I escaped communism. I wrote a novel, mixing family stories and fiction. A novel about Holocaust, communism, racism and emigration. What makes people leave, and what happens to the ones who do, and to the ones who stay. I believe these old stories are more important now than ever before.